An infographic listing some of the popular digital currencies developed before bitcoin swooped in.
Digital Currency Existing Before Bitcoin
Bitcoin is the most popular digital currency to date. However, there have been many previous attempts at developing digital currency, even before bitcoin. In fact, some of the protocols of bitcoin have highly been inspired by such virtual currencies. In this infographic, we take a brief look at the attempts made at developing digital currencies by cryptographers, developers, mathematicians and more.
An American cryptographer named David Chaum invented ‘Digi cash’, a virtual currency that lets users transact money online and also provides anonymity to the users. Developed in 1989, the idea of Digi cash was way ahead of its time. In 1998, the company went bankrupt.
E-Gold offered online credit in exchange for precious metal like gold or silver. It acquired quite a popularity in its initial years. However, after a run-in with the US department the company was later shut down in 2005
B-Money was an attempt made at a distributed electronic cash system by a developer known as Wei-Dei. However, it failed to grasp any attention. But some of its concepts like auto-enforcing contracts without third-party inspired Bitcoin
Proposed by an electronic coin advocate Nick Szabo, Bit Gold, in many ways, was similar to Bitcoin. It conceptualized Proof of Work in its protocol. Bitgold was also a proponent for a complete decentralized network.
Developed by cryptographer Adam Bech, Hash cash offered significant benefits compared to previous virtual currencies. It adopted Proof of work concept in its protocol, to verify transactions. Due to scalability issues, it ultimately fizzled out
Ultimately, a unique model created by blending cryptographic protocols and blockchain technology- Bitcoin came into existence. Santoshi Nakamoto, whose identity still remains unknown, gave birth to a decentralized, peer to peer electronic cash. Bitcoin is by far the most popular cryptocurrency developed till date.
Bitcoin, the digital currency, has been more successful as compared to its predecessors. But, even bitcoin has quite a few lessons learned from these other digital currencies.
The future of bitcoin. Who knows? Maybe a hundred years from now some other blogger will still be writing an article about the miracles of bitcoin (all those years) or maybe some other such digital currency has long ago taken its place.